The SHARE Blog

Video on Metallic Mineral Mining in ES

November 11, 2008

Click on the link below to watch a video on metallic mineral mining in El Salvador. The video also includes an interview with Marcos Orellana, a Chilean lawyer who specializes in environmental law and international treaties. To view the video, click here.

*This video is in Spanish.

-Sara Skinner, US Grassroots Coordinator

Action Alert: Speak up for Free and Fair Elections in El Salvador!

November 3, 2008


Call or write your US Representative and ask him or her to sign onto a Dear Colleague letter in support of free and fair elections in El Salvador. The letter is being circulated by Congressmen Jim McGovern (MA) and Dennis Moore (KS), and the staff contact person is Cindy Buhl in Congressman McGovern’s office. The letter is currently in circulation in the House of Representatives and signatures will be collected throughout the month of November. Below is a list of talking points to include in your message:

  • With the upcoming Municipal, Legislative Assembly, and Presidential elections that will take place in El Salvador on January 18th and March 15th, 2009, I believe the United States can help ensure that the 2009 Salvadoran elections are free, fair, and conducted under the most transparent conditions. Read More »

More malnutrition and poverty in El Salvador according to FAO

October 31, 2008

The food and agriculture organization (FAO) of the United Nations, states that the recent food and financial crisis has severely increased malnutrition and poverty in El Salvador. According to experts from FAO, 18,9% percent of El Salvadoran people faces conditions of chronic malnutrition during childhood. This can in some cases affect normal growth. The FAO representant in El Salvador, Delmy Linares, says that it has to be done a lot on the issue of nutricional food security.

She emphasizes that the problem in El Salvador is not only the decrease in food production, but also lack of food accessibility for the majority of the population. It is misleading when food security is only referred to as a question of lack of production when it is also about whether the people has access to food or not. She uses beans as an example of a product which is not lacking, but has an unaffordable price for many people. There are various products being imported and produced in El Salvador, but people does not always have the money. Read More »

The Amnesty Law

October 27, 2008

For the upcoming municipal, legislative, and presidential elections 2009, the question of justice for the wounds from the civil war is raising up in the public debate. The El Salvadoran civil war resulted in 75000 deaths and 10000 disappearings, according to a study performed by the UN. The law of amnesty is still protecting the offenders from any kind of investigation. Human rights organizations and relatives of victims are demanding a repeal of the law. In responding to this issue, both presidential candidates are clearly opposing the repealment of the law. Mauricio Funes, the presidential candidate for FMLN, states that repealing the amnesty law would create a difficult climate for governing and therefore restrain the creation of a new future. He further states that instead of contributing to reconciliation, it will open up wounds. The presidential candidate for ARENA, Rodrigo Avila, is also distancing himself from a repealment of the amnesty law and is backing up the army which would be threatened by an eventual repealment. Read More »

Saca fails to fulfill his promises about the initiation of the Longitudinal del Norte

October 21, 2008

December 2008 was the president Saca’s announced starting date for the construction of the motorway Longitudinal del Norte. The new executive director of Fomilenio, Josè Àngel Quiròs, on the other hand does not predict the project beginning until 2009.

Today, right after the change of executive director of Fomilenio, it looks like Saca`s words cannot become reality. Fomilenio is the group in charge of implementing the 461 million dollars donatedby the US-funded Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC), directed to the creation of economic growth in the Northern part of the country. After a closer look at the timetable, Fomilenio has now proposed an unspecified date in 2009 for the initiation of the project. Read More »

Seeking a home away from homophobia

In the US, there is an increasing acceptance of sexual orientation as grounds for asylum. It is an emerging field of immigration law in the US, and gays and lesbians from different parts of the world are now becoming aware of this opportunity.

Offering a haven for gays and lesbians,the US government is beginning to deal with an increasing number of asylum applications from this group. Homophobic attitudes or lack of international experience among judges and government officials, which could lead to unfortunate decisions, are of concern. A Mexican national was denied asylum by an immigration judge in 2003 on the grounds that he was obviously not gay. He then appealed last year and he was granted asylum. At the same time, critics of this practice claim that it is impossible to control fraudulent cases. The applicants could pretend to be gay or lesbian when they are really seeking asylum for other reasons. Read More »

Remittances from US to El Salvador Decline

October 20, 2008

According to a recent Washington Post article, remittances sent from Salvadorans working in the United States did not increase by as much as they have been in recent years. Until recently, money sent home to Latin America had been soaring, helped by increased migration and lower money-transfer costs. Now, with an increase in inflation in Latin America, the dollar does not stretch as far. What’s more, with the looming economic problems in the US, workers have less money to send back to their families. This is significant, especially for El Salvador, because as much as 18% of El Salvador’s GDP depends on remittances from abroad.

Currently, there are groups working to formalize remittance giving by sending the money through banks so that immigrants may have the opportunity to develop economically, allowing them to build assets on their earnings.

– Anna Sanger, Grassroots Education and Advocacy Intern


October 17, 2008

Following the guidance of one of our strategic goals, SHARE DC reached out to the Salvadoran community in Washington DC during Hispanic Heritage Month. The Washington DC metro area is home to the second largest Salvadoran community in the United States after Los Angeles, CA. With approximately 500,000 Salvadorans living in the area, they constitute the largest foreign-born population according to the 2005 US Census. Migration from El Salvador to Washington started in the 1970’s, increased in the 1980’s because of the civil war and continued to grow in the late 1990s and into this decade because of the harsh economic conditions back home. Read More »

Say no to US intervention in the Salvadoran elections – Sign the petition!

September 30, 2008

The Salvadoran Minister of Foreign Affairs, Marisol Arqueta, is already lobbying the US to intervene in the upcoming Salvadoran elections.

In her speech at the American Enterprise Institute (AEI), last September 18th, she stated that “Losing El Salvador (if the opposition wins) will be a lose-lose situation for the national security of both El Salvador and the United States”. She exhorted the US to “do more” and to “pay close attention”.

Please sign the petition asking President Saca:

  • To ensure that public employees do not use their positions to influence public opinion on who should win the elections;
  • To ask the Foreign Affairs Minister to explain her statements;
  • To respect the sovereignty of the Salvadoran people to choose their leaders freely.

To read or listen to the Minister’s speech, please visit the AEIs website and click on “Events”, then “Event Materials”, “Past Events”, and “The perils of populism: Hot spots in Latin America”.
SHARE Foundation is collecting signatures that we will send to President Saca. If you want to sign SHARE Foundation’s petition, please contact the SHARE Foundation and list your name, city, and state at or call us at 202-319-5542 by Friday, October 10, 2008.

Para la carta en Español, visitenos en nuestro sitio de web (

Lead contamination hurts the poor

In the small community of Sitio del Niño, the inhabitants are living in a contaminated environment. The source of this contamination stems from the battery production of the company, Baterías de El Salvador (Record). Lead from the battery production has polluted the water, the air, and the surrounding environment of the community. Thus, the health security in the community is highly threatened.

Water is a vital necessity for daily life, and is crucial for health and sanitation. Tests of the water carried out by the department of environment indicate that the level of lead in the water was three times above the permitted level by international standards. Unfortunately, the lead from the fabric has spread out through the whole ecosystem. This means that soil, vegetation, and houses are infected by lead. Researchers from the University of El Salvador measured that soils and houses located in a 700 perimeter from the fabric contained levels of lead from ten to fiftheen times higher than the permitted level. Read More »

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